This article I have not written to curse or blame some brand name but it is to share those hard-way learned lessons and highlight some alternate options. I believe I have got good exposure after purchasing 4 different laptops in a span of 6 years of my professional life and couple of desktop PCs from university times.
Lets begin with the warning “you should be very careful when buying a new laptop otherwise in the end you will only suffer not laptop makers“. You should also consider a Micro ATX based assemble PCs which are very compact way better at peformance, reliable, maintenanable and less than half price of a laptop. Again do not buy a powerful laptop if your business need and depend on it, laptops are okay as long as they are cheap, low power and your business is to show presentations, browse internet and watch movies for any serious works its always better to go for a Desktop.
Basically inception of laptops were a tactful gimmick by big business to regain market share, at the time when branded PC market had a downward spiral trend because everyone started building their own customized PCs and branded PCs were seen as a lousy option, so they came up with laptop idea, portable computing device that can run with a battery.
First thing to understand about laptops are that “they are not designed to last long and they are not designed to be upgradable” there is least chance that you can upgrade a laptop, so after 3 years when your hardware start feeling the heat of new resource hog operating systems and intensive softwares, there is no option but to buy a new laptop simply because you cannot upgrade them, neither you can make your own laptop. Laptop makers do not design them to endure more than 3 – 4 years, you will be lucky if it lasts 3 years.
Fateful day of May 2014 when I purchased a dell laptop model inspiron-3537 with i7 processor + 8 GB of RAM for 62000 Rs (INR). back at that time I was in moods of getting fastest pc possible and I didnt care how much of a real difference would a i5 or i7 make, specially when I use them only for software development, web browsing and watching videos, I am not into gaming or graphic intensive work at all.
Perhaps the only key difference was on price side, an i7 processor would cost close to double that of an i5. today I am damned regretful for that decision which I took without much thinking, I blindly trusted a brand and chose a configuration based on idea “higher the better”.
My mistake was to buy a laptop with a soldered processor on motherboard and a mad love for Dell brand, I call that a mistake because I was aware of this integrated processor concept from an earlier i3 laptop which I could not upgrade only because processor was was fixed on mobo, I could have opted other model or different brand where processor can be swapped from at exact same model atleast, what a damn foolish act on my part!
Today my laptop’s motherboard is dead and technicians face hard time fixing it, they are telling me to buy a new motherboard including Dell service guy, but for some minor fault in mobo I have to throw away entire thing including i7 processor and rest of it I wonder why I paid price of processor and other components if they were to be discarded like this. I tried two good repair shops and both seem helpless.
I could have easily opted from Toshiba or Asus like brand who also make things where you can keep a working processor and just replace mobo for 3k instead of exchanging entire thing for 15000. Dell company is at the forefront of crooked practice to purposefully design their laptop that way, so if something goes wrong you have no choice but to replace whole part or buy a new laptop.
The morning I found this laptop is not turning on, I showed it to a couple of repair shop nearby and learned that standard rates for laptop repair is between 1500 to 3000 Rs, 1500 will be normal inspection and dust cleaning fixes, if chip level issue exist they will charge 2500 at least so 2500 being the average. First shop told their price starts from 2200 and average is 2700, then moved to next shop his price were 1500 starting and guy looked reasonable and skilled, so I left my laptop there and next day he told me about some chip level defect and part must be procured from Mumbai ( need to wait 3 more days) even then it was not certain laptop will begin functioning.
When I researched for possible reasons behind motherboard failure mostly it is due to intense heat from processor causes nearby solderered parts to get displaced and sometimes even IC chips are fried. I am quite sure that behind this tragedy it was that high power i7 processor cramed in a little space where heat cannot vent out properly. if it were desktop pc things would have been under control. So it falls back to lousy Dell engineers who designed a laptop with inadequate cooling. Its worth mentioning that this laptop motherboard failed for one more time during warranty period, back then Dell guy fixed it by replacing the mobo. Dell have many of their i3, i5 and i7 models packed into exact same plastic casing, but its a common sense an i7 processor would need larger casing for a better cooling.
Anyway then I decided to show my laptop to Dell service center guy, who told me, now that the warranty period is over I will have to shell out 1360 Rs for inspection by a technician who will only do repair attempts by cleaning dust and check loose connections and if some chips are fried they dont do any repair, then the only option is to buy a new mobo for 15000, it comes with only 3 months of warranty. When i complained him about poor quality of this model, he shamelessly bragged, its just my bad luck and very normal thing to happen to a machine. I understood that basically they have offered NO solution so I took the laptop to repair shop next to Dell service center which Dell guy himself recommended for a chip level repair.
My laptop is there for over 4 days and everytime I call, they give excuses its not done yet, we have dont have parts and parts are coming from Mumbai etc.